Interviews// SPOnG Interview: Tetsuya Mizuguchi

Like a ‘love parade’

Posted 18 Jan 2007 21:00 by
SPOnG caught up with Q Entertainment?s Tetsuya Mizuguchi for some one-to-one interview time while he was in London this week. The interview is in-depth, rich in content and goes beyond simply talking about Every Extend Extra, Lumines II and old Rez . But we won?t spoil it for you up front ? aside from saying that it?s going to be the best Mizuguchi interview you?re going to read for some time to come.

SPOnG: Hi, how are you? How long have you been in London?

Tetsuya Mizuguchi: Hi there, I?m good. I got in just this morning.

SPOnG: Straight from Japan?

Tetsuya Mizuguchi: No, from LA. I was out there doing some interviews and stuff. Like, MTV and stuff, just general talks about music and games and future predictions about all that stuff.

SPOnG: How long?s the game (Every Extend Extra) been out in the States now?

Tetsuya Mizuguchi: I think it was in November, so they?ve already had it a while.

SPOnG: How?s it doing over there?

Tetsuya Mizuguchi: Yeh not bad. But the PSP [shakes head] generally is not doing very well I think.

SPOnG: Yeh, certainly in comparison with the DS. Do you think Sony has lost its way with the strategy for PSP?

Tetsuya Mizuguchi: Mmmm. I think so, yeh. They have really good concepts and they have had a good long chance, but it?s not doing so good right now.

SPOnG: Maybe the growth of the PS3 market will revive the fortunes of the PSP?

Tetsuya Mizuguchi: Yeh, I hope so!

SPOnG: I?m sure Sony does too! Are you a little jetlagged?

Tetsuya Mizuguchi: A little, but that?s okay. He will help me if my brain is sleeping! [indicates silent interpreter sitting in the corner]

SPOnG: How long are you in London for?

Tetsuya Mizuguchi: Just two days, then back home.

SPOnG: Any time to do any sightseeing while you?re here? I read you?re quite a fan of the Tate Modern.

Tetsuya Mizuguchi: No, unfortunately we won?t have much time this time here. I went to the Tate Modern last May to see the big Kandinsky exhibition and that was great.

I had a big influence from Kandinsky ? like with Rez ? yeh, I love his concepts, like Synesthesia [a neurological condition in which two or more bodily senses are coupled]. Both his concepts and his art are amazing. If you look closely at his works, not just in books but directly at the paintings with your own eyes, it?s pure power? it creates an amazing atmosphere.

SPOnG: When did you discover Kandinsky?

Tetsuya Mizuguchi: I studied Art in my University, about Media and Aesthetics. I knew Kandinsky?s concepts at the time. But you know, just studying. It had no strong impact like now... I started to make a game and when I started to think about the Rez concept then suddenly I remembered Kandinsky?s concept ? this was I think around 1994 ? I had many, many inspirations from music culture, dance and club culture also around that time? Techno, house music, rave culture?

SPOnG: So you were out clubbing a lot around that time too?

Tetsuya Mizuguchi: The middle of the 90s yes ? 1993 and ?94.

SPOnG: Was that a big scene in Japan at that time?

Tetsuya Mizuguchi: No, I visited European countries a lot around that time. I went to Zurich in Switzerland and watched the huge street parade ? like a ?love parade? ? and watched the first rave party over there. Thousands of people dancing, well not dancing but almost moving and jumping with the music? and the light and colours moving with the music. That kind of impact that had inspired me, as it was a kind of Synesthesia.

So then Kandinsky?s concept became revived? So I started thinking ?what is the music? The groove? How can I make an interactive experience using this? What kind of game do I want to make and play?? That was the kind of inspiration I had then.

Then, I needed to wait a few years because at that time the game technologies of that generation ? like Genesis, or PlayStation 1 ? were not up to it. But the next generation at that time ? like PlayStation 2 and Dreamcast ? I realised it was possible to make something on those. So then I started to make the game.
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dr_faulk 25 Jan 2007 15:33
Wow, Spong, thanks for that. What a read! The guy's got some right proper ideas.
Tim Smith 25 Jan 2007 17:30
dr_faulk wrote:
Wow, Spong, thanks for that. What a read! The guy's got some right proper ideas.

Glad you appreciated it... we'll have more interviews rolling out soon.
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